Structured investment products – the way forward?

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With current interest rates sitting around 1.8% many investors are looking for innovative ways to increase returns. So a structured investment product that offers a return of 8% per year that protects your money sounds like a great option. However if something looks too good to be true there is usually a downfall.
Rob Morgan at Hargreaves Lansdown said, “We are sceptical of structured products.”
“If a product cannot easily be explained then we are on our guard.”
A structured ...

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Effective money advice and education is proved by Santander funded project

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An exciting new project by the Citizens Advice, Bristol University and the Chartered Institute of Housing funded by Santander has revealed some interesting statistics for the future. The project has provided hundreds of Midlands social housing tenants with free financial advice. The results have shown that almost 80% of the participants have changed their spending habits making them better off to the equivalent of a 5% income rise.

The project owners have estimated that if this programme was rolled out across ...

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Claims management firms at heart of the PPI scandal

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The Chief financial ombudsman has commented that the banks not investigating payment protection insurance (PPI) claims properly played into hands of claims management firms.

In an appearance before the Treasury Select Committee, chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney placed the blame firmly at the financial services industry. She said, “Banks not investigating cases properly played into PPI firms’ hands. In a quarter of cases where banks said customers didn’t have PPI, they did – the banks were not doing their job properly.”

Natalie Ceeney ...

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Union shows concern over slow moving pension reforms

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The GMB union has made a statement raising concerns that government delays threaten to jeopardise the deal to reform pensions for 1.6 million public sector workers.

National Officer for public services at the GMB Brian Strutton said the public service pension’s bill had some key failings. It has been noted by the union that the bill which is crucial to the future of millions did not appear to recognise that the local government pension was unique in that it had been ...

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Economy figures show positive signs

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The Bank of England’s deputy governor Charlie Bean has said that there is, “reason for some optimism,” for the UK economy. He stated that there were, “signs of progress,” from the Eurozone but we should not get, “over-excited,” about immediate recovery.

Last week’s official gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the economy grew by 1.0% in the three months from July to September.

In an interview Charlie Bean said, “The big picture here is of an economy that has been bumping along ...

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Forecasts predict lending to hit six-year low

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A report by the Ernst & Young Item Club suggests that bank lending to businesses will hit its lowest level this year since 2006, despite government efforts to stimulate lending. Forecast figures have been revealed that predict that business lending will fall by 4.6% to £429 billion in 2012.

The report has also commented on the continuing battle between the banks and businesses. The Banks say demand for loans is low, while many businesses argue banks are unwilling to lend.

Senior economic ...

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Millions of workers paid less than living wage

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Accounting firm KPMG have released a report that states one in five workers in the UK is paid less than required for a basic standard of living. More shockingly amongst waiters and bar staff almost 90% of workers are paid less than required for a basic standard of living.

These figures are based upon the living wage which is a pay-packet that enables a basic standard of living. This rate stands at £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 in the ...

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Pension gap widens between men and women

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According to research by Scottish Widows women are now investing £776 a year less than men. This is believed to be due to pressure over rising bills and the desire to settle debts quickly.

The report was based on the interviews of over 5,200 adults and uncovered some shocking statistics. The average monthly saving for women has now fallen from £130 to £95 since 2011, while the average monthly savings for men has risen from £174 to £185. In addition the ...

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Bank of Scotland fined over mortgage errors

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The Bank of Scotland has been fined almost £4.2 million by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for failing to keep accurate records of the mortgage payments of 250,000 Halifax customers.

The FSA discovered that the bank had been keeping records on two separate computer systems without always updating them. It is believed that the problem had been present since 2004.

The Bank of Scotland has apologised for the mistake and has fully cooperated with the actions of the FSA.

This announcement of fining ...

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Deputy Governor of the Bank of England warns of future banking scandal

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Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Paul Tucker has warned the worst could still be to come for the banking sector as he called for an end to the get-rich-quick culture.

Paul Tucker, favorite to take over from Sir Mervyn King as governor of the Bank of England said, “There is a tangible probability – not a high probability – that the worst may still be ahead.”

In a speech he called for changes to the way bonuses are paid to ...

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